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Lerner Q&A

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Lerner Q&A

Unread postby swerb » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:40 am

Nothing earth shattering here. But again, Randy really answers questions exactly how I want the owner of my favorite football team to answer them.

Had this conversation recently with JB over a couple beers. Lerner's results have been atrocius. But really, he's made pretty much all the moves I wanted him to. If in his shoes, what would you have done different from what he has done?

Romeo ... lame duck status and all, very few of the people whose opinions I respect, which includes many of the people in this forum, had any problem with the hire. Savage? Elation. Hiring Collins was a mistake, but then he wised up and dropped the hammer on his ass after he came close to splintering the org and forcing out Phil. Letting football people make football decisions? We all love it. Integrating the past stars of the team? Welcomed.

Im not saying Randy Jammies has been perfect. The Aston Villa thing, while I believe it has little to no affect on anything with how he runs the Browns, was a PR mistake. But hey ... Randy's got tons of cash, and really doesn't do anything with the Browns. He was bored.

http://www.cleveland.com/browns/plainde ... xml&coll=2

Q & A WITH BROWNS OWNER RANDY LERNER

Lerner: 'We've got to win more games'

Thursday, March 22, 2007
Mary Kay Cabot
Plain Dealer Reporter


The Browns are 25-48 since owner Randy Lerner inherited the team in October 2002, and no one is more disgusted with the losing than Lerner himself.

So when it comes to talk of who's on the hot seat following the 4-12 campaign in 2006, Lerner points to no one but himself.

Granted, he says he has no intention of selling the Browns, but if he finds he doesn't have what it takes to turn this once-proud franchise around, one gets the sense he'll turn it over to someone else.

Lerner's recent purchase of Aston Villa, a team in the English Premier Soccer League, has fueled speculation that he'll sell the Browns. Not true, says Lerner. The only thing that would make him sell the team he grew up cheering for would be lack of performance on his part.

On the eve of the 2007 NFL owner's meetings this weekend in Phoenix, Ariz., Lerner on Wednesday addressed his commitment to the Browns and many other issues in an interview with The Plain Dealer. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

Q: Is this a make-or-break year for coach Romeo Crennel?

A: I think it's more of a make-or-break year for me. Ownership is not a birthright. It's a performance-based privilege just like anything else. If I don't perform, then why own it? The only thing I want to do is win. I don't know how to not consider losing as a threat to my job. If I don't consider it a threat to my job, then I have converted it to a birthright. And that I'm not going to do.

Q: But you have no immediate plans to sell?

A: I get asked that question repeatedly and I'm now trying to answer it with the same clarity, although I'm now finding I should say things like, I do have four children, I do live with uncertainties.'

With all that said, I absolutely have no intention of selling the Browns.

Q: What must happen in 2007 for you to be satisfied?

A: We've got to win more games. I don't have any numbers. The idea of having a litmus test or any sort of expectations about wins or losses, and what that would do or not do to our organization or people who work here -- to me it's disruptive. It's fueling the negativity, and it's just not in my thinking.

Q: There's a perception that Crennel is a lame-duck coach. Is it true?

A: It's certainly not my perception. Romeo has a drawer full of rings that show he's a winner. When Romeo has more horses to work with, he'll win.

Q: It was reported on NFL Network that you told General Manager Phil Savage he had to draft a quarterback. True or false?

A: I'd say it's somewhere between preposterous and ludicrous.

Q: What role will you have in the draft?

A: I'll have no voice in who we draft.

Q: Phil Savage was almost ousted after his first season, yet seems in great standing after a 4-12 season. Why is that?

A: I think Phil's done a great job. He's recognized, along with other people in the building, what it is we needed to address immediately following the season, and he's brought our organization together to do that. We communicate well and talk every day.

Q: So you have full faith and confidence in Crennel and Savage?

A: Sure. Absolutely.

Q: What about the notion that Savage was making the coaching hires?

A: It was a very collaborative effort and from my perspective, I was focused on the results. We moved quickly in a tough environment to bring in a coordinator, assistant coaches and free agents. I think the signs are that these guys are working well together.

Q: Can you address rumors that Kellen Winslow Jr. might miss the 2007 season because of microfracture surgery?

A: Nonsense. Kellen's doing great. He's rehabbing very, very well, he's incredibly diligent, he's a hard worker and he knows what he wants.

Q: You recently hired former IMG CEO Bob Kain as vice chairman of the Browns. Do you see any need for a team president?

A: Bob Kain has absolutely no connection whatever with the role of president. He's my partner in Aston Villa and will work with both teams. We never would've been able to recruit a Bob Kain to work solely for the Browns. I don't have any plans right now to hire a president.

Q: What about charges that you're out of touch with fans' anger?

A: If I'm out of touch, then obviously the style that I feel comfortable with is not effective as regard to maintaining contact. It seems to me, my responsibility is to do everything I can to support bringing a winner and get out of the way.

Q: What is the mind-set of suite-holders and season-ticket holders?

A: Some are very frustrated. The product's not what we wanted it to be, so therefore people are less eager to just go out and buy it. There are a lot of people who stick with us, but you've got to win and you've got to provide an environment that people look forward to.

Q: Braylon Edwards had a tumultuous 2006 season. Are you confident he'll mature?

A: The head coach manages the players, but I do know that Braylon is extremely well-liked and well-regarded in the organization, and Braylon is managing himself and will continue to do so in such a way that he'll grow and move forward.

Q: Have you solved the staph problem?

A: It's behind us. If you look at the Browns, we're statistically in the mix. I think we've done everything we can to address the issue.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:45 am

: But you have no immediate plans to sell?

A: I get asked that question repeatedly and I'm now trying to answer it with the same clarity, although I'm now finding I should say things like, I do have four children, I do live with uncertainties.'

With all that said, I absolutely have no intention of selling the Browns


Hedging? Or just sick of answering the question?
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:48 am

Pup wrote:
: But you have no immediate plans to sell?

A: I get asked that question repeatedly and I'm now trying to answer it with the same clarity, although I'm now finding I should say things like, I do have four children, I do live with uncertainties.'

With all that said, I absolutely have no intention of selling the Browns


Hedging? Or just sick of answering the question?

Randy is wearing down IMO.

I truly believe he feels absolutely awful about the shit sandwich of a product hes forced down the fans throats here. As if the product itself hasn't been bad enough for the last eight years, its coming off the heels of losing the team. And in a city with the proudest, most loyal fans in the country.

He's one more 4 win season away from selling. Or two 6-7 win seasons.

Not because he wants to. Because I think he feels he will owe it to the city.
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Unread postby yogi » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:39 am

I don't know swerb.

If he's bought Phil's plan, then he knows he was in for a couple of rough years. He's 2 years in now. He'll be looking for improvements this year.

I also think there's a little fire to the smoke on the QB issue. He may have said something to Phil like this.... we need to put a face on the franchise this year and if you can get one of the 2 QB's, that would be nice.
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Unread postby Wolfy » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:45 am

Great Post Swerb! It is very refreshing to hear the owner talk about wanting to win. Although we have not been a winner on the football field at least our owner is makeing the best effort he can make. That is the exact oposite of the Indians Organization. They care about selling out and nothing else. NOTHING. There could not be a bigger contrast between the two organization's. Imagine if the Brownies had the Indians talent...WOW! It might evolve into a dynasty! So much for dreams...Bye Bye Jake...bye bye...CC...bye bye...Pronk. Just like the so many before you Good bye.
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Unread postby Guest » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:45 am

Personally, I think that Randy Lerner is a non-story. His job is to hire good football guys, let them do their job, and open his pocketbook. He's done all that.

When they were hired, the Romeo-Savage duo looked pretty damn good. Even now, when it is slightly underwhelming, I do not blame Randy for that. Almost all of us would have done the same.

Romeo/Phil are trying as hard as they can to win, since they know their jobs depend on it. They know this already - Randy Lerner can't add any more pressure than they already have.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:12 am

Two things:

1. Sounds like Lerner may sell in the near future. His whole reply of "I do not INTEND to sell..." says it all to me. As Rich pointed out, this depends on the success/failure of the team the next year or so.

2. I was NEVER a RAC fan. I never liked him, and probably was one of the lone voices against his hiring. However, I was, and in most ways am a Savage backer.
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Unread postby General » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:53 pm

Randy,
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Unread postby Birdieman » Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:48 pm

I'm a huge Randy fan, Savage as well. But I believe it's a mistake to not hire a Team President.

Other than that, all we can ask for is an owner with deep pockets who hires football people to run the show, gives them all the resources needed to produce a winner, all the while staying in the background.

And I couldn't care less if he buys a soccer team. Nobody would've thought anything of it if he'd bought a chain of doughnut shops. There's no difference to me.
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Unread postby Guest » Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:13 pm

Birdieman wrote:I'm a huge Randy fan, Savage as well. But I believe it's a mistake to not hire a Team President.

Other than that, all we can ask for is an owner with deep pockets who hires football people to run the show, gives them all the resources needed to produce a winner, all the while staying in the background.

And I couldn't care less if he buys a soccer team. Nobody would've thought anything of it if he'd bought a chain of doughnut shops. There's no difference to me.

Agree completely, other than being a Randy fan. I'm not necessarily a fan of his, just don't think that he's to blame for the Browns' woes.

Now, if the Browns suck ass again next year and he doesn't do anything about it, then we can start burning him in effigy.
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Unread postby jb » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:15 pm

Swerb wrote:
Pup wrote:
: But you have no immediate plans to sell?

A: I get asked that question repeatedly and I'm now trying to answer it with the same clarity, although I'm now finding I should say things like, I do have four children, I do live with uncertainties.'

With all that said, I absolutely have no intention of selling the Browns


Hedging? Or just sick of answering the question?

Randy is wearing down IMO.

I truly believe he feels absolutely awful about the shit sandwich of a product hes forced down the fans throats here. As if the product itself hasn't been bad enough for the last eight years, its coming off the heels of losing the team. And in a city with the proudest, most loyal fans in the country.

He's one more 4 win season away from selling. Or two 6-7 win seasons.

Not because he wants to. Because I think he feels he will owe it to the city.


Kinda like Judge Smails sedning boys younger than Danny to trhe gas chamber?
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:48 pm

Exactly.
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Unread postby mistero » Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:38 am

I like Randy.

I think he's struggling with the balance of being seen as an absentee owner who lives in New York or the Jerry Jones clone who orders who gets selected in the draft. He wants to be seen as caring but not as being "involved" with running football matters. I think he's done a good job of making people believe he's hands off/ no input into football matters.I'm not sure he's done so well making people believe he's not an absentee landlord.

I know if I owned the Browns , I would "own" the Browns. I would be out in front making football decisions,hiring and firing coaches,drafting players. I would be in charge, right or wrong (ok, probably very wrong). I would be the face of the team. The leader. The guiding hand. The big toe.

As a fan, that's the part I don't get. Why own the team and then be hands off? What fun is that?
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Unread postby bookelly » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:01 pm

Unfortunately, the Browns are looking at another 3-5 win season next year. But if they keep building, they make a breakout in '09 and really contend in '10. I think Randy knows this is the Savage plan, and he'll stay on board to see if it works.
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Unread postby mistero » Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:52 pm

That can't be the plan . Contend in 2010?

Let's see ,
horrible in 2005...check
Worse in 2006 ...check
Likely to suck in 2007
Suck once more in 2008
Little better in 2009??

Contend in 2010?

That's the great plan ? Time to check behind the curtain.There is no wizard.
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Unread postby jb » Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:13 am

mistero wrote:That can't be the plan . Contend in 2010?

Let's see ,
horrible in 2005...check
Worse in 2006 ...check
Likely to suck in 2007
Suck once more in 2008
Little better in 2009??

Contend in 2010?

That's the great plan ? Time to check behind the curtain.There is no wizard.


If we contend in 2010, Mysterio, we're fortunate.

I'm thinking more 2011.

I'm so tired of all re focussing back on blaming Bucth Davis I could puke.

Check out this installment from Pat Mac :

http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/sports/16970329.htm

Some might quibble with the ``early days'' reference, given it's the third offseason of the regime, but Lerner does not. He said a team has to have 35 players who will be the core of the team, give or take a few. Five or six or seven is a far cry from 35, he said.

As he spoke, he turned and grabbed a sheet with a list of players he had compiled. These were the ``core players'' he had thought of as he pondered his team off the cuff.

``I have (Joe) Jurevicius, (Orpheus) Roye, Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, Kamerion Wimbley, Sean Jones, Brodney Pool, Eric Jamal Lewis, Andra Davis, Charlie Frye, D'Qwell Jackson, Leigh Bodden, Josh Cribbs for special teams certainly if not other, Steve Heiden, and emerging players like Leon Williams, Lawrence Vickers, Jerome Harrison, Travis Wilson,'' he said. ``So... that's 18. Now are they the 18 of the 35? No. Do we still have holes to fill?''


Randy himself says that he had 7 true playas left by Davis. I may dispute that, but hey, let's run with it.

Says he has 18 now, but he counts Jerome Harrison - LMMFAO.

From Randy's list, let's scoff at at least three of his names because they are nada but unproven draft prospects in year two, and that gives yah, what, 15 players?

So in 3 off seasons, not counting the upcoming draft, Phil has gone from 7 to 15 true plays.

He interited 4 - 12 and after two off seasons he produced.... 4 - 12.

That's just fuckin' sad.

Now I'm not my boi Furlan w/ numbers, but at this pace you are looking at contention in Phil + 12 years, so by 2018 we ought to be about ready . . .

Please Randy, just STFU about Butch and 2004 already.

Phil decided he could live with taking steps backward and gutting the team, however untalented it was, and by his own admission wasting a season on evaluation before he took a single step forward.

The 2007 Browns are all Phil's and yours Randy.

Get off of Butch.

Butch didn't sign Joe Andruzzi, Trent Dilfer and Kevin Shaffer.

Butch didn't draft Charlie Frye and make him the starter.

Dudes who draft Nick Speegle and David McMillan might just want to STFU about Kevin Bently and Ben Taylor.

GM's who pass on Khal;if barners for Brodney poole may not want to complain about how much they need to fix the OL.

All of that said, firing Phil and starting over AGAIN would set us back worse IMhO.

I hope to gawd that Phil has gotten better at his job that 2005.

But this team, talent-wise, is at least 2 more very solid off seasons away from having 9 - 7 talent.

And THEN you have to account for a coaching change an dthe resulting new scheme and system installation requiring some turnover, cause RAC won't survive.

And THEN you need to account for grooming a new, young QB , cause Frye is bullshit. DA is a long-shot hope.

And THEN you have to add on another year or two for the young drafted players to get good and experienced.

That's another year added on at best, reaslistically two.

2010 is pretty much best-case scenario for true division contention.

I'm thinking 6 wins this season, 7 or 8 wins the next two, and if we are luckey we win double digits in 2010.

This is not becasue of Butch Davis. Coming off 2004, we probably needed 3 seasons if done right. It is more likely we need 3 MORE seasons, however, due to some bad luck, Phil wasting 2005 and purging what role players were here, and stepping on his own dick too much and making too many mistakes.
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